Barcelona day 3: Schuey breaks record

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher smashed the unofficial winter testing lap record at Barcelona today (Thursday). The German lapped his Ferrari in 1m15.020s, two-tenths of a second faster than David Coulthard's best mark set last week in a McLaren-Mercedes.

Barcelona day 3: Schuey breaks record

The record has now been lowered by six-tenths of a second since December, showing that F1's big teams - and tyre companies - are continuing to make major strides forward before the start of the 2003 season.

Schumacher set his best time in the morning session while still concentrating on tyre compounds, but failed to improve on it in the afternoon despite further running. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello also dipped into the 1m15s bracket, but was concentrating on electronics and ended the day 0.7s off his team leader. Ferrari's test driver Luca Badoer was third quickest overall.

BAR-Honda's Jacques Villeneuve once again out-paced Jenson Button to go fourth quickest. He cut 0.6s from yesterday's best but that compares to Schumacher, who chopped a whopping 2.2s from his best lap time.

Jaguar made improvements today as Antonio Pizzonia begun to acclimatise to the new R4. It was the Brazilian's second day in the car and posted lap times similar to BAR, the fastest other team running 2003-spec machinery. Mark Webber meanwhile continued to develop the new Cosworth CR5 unit.

Giancarlo Fisichella finally got some running today after missing all of yesterday after a part for the new Jordan-Cosworth EJ13 got caught in the Spanish luggage control system. Unsurprisingly the Italian was some four seconds from the ultimate pace.



Michael Schumacher Ferrari B 1m15.020s 84
Rubens Barrichello Ferrari B 1m15.730s 67
Luca Badoer Ferrari B 1m16.431s 38
Jacques Villeneuve BAR-Honda B 1m18.195 51
Antonio Pizzonia Jaguar-Cosworth M 1m18.349s 63
Jenson Button BAR-Honda B 1m18.524s 20
Mark Webber Jaguar-Cosworth M 1m18.532s 49
Giancarlo Fisichella Jordan-Cosworth B 1m19.819 20

B = Bridgestone
M = Michelin
* denotes 2003 car


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